Amanda Vincentini, Master Student PUCPR, Curitiba, Brazil

My exchange in Austria was something unexpected, it happened quickly, but it has been very transformative.

There are various cultural differences that we can feel from the beginning - food, language, customs like crossing the street only when the sign is green (in Brazil it is not so) or greater concern with sustainable practices. However, what certainly called my attention the most is something bigger: the social structure than the structural basis of Austria is very different from Brazil.

Europe for Brazilians is like "another world". For me Austria is a world, without poverty and everyone lives with social welfare, it is very different to live here. It seems that the suffering, the pain of a difficult life that most Brazilians live for lack of jobs, security, education, transportation and even food does not exist here. In general, everyone lives well and can have a quiet, stable and balanced life.

My biggest learning from my stay so far is that the discussion about intercultural relations have to be reflected with a social background. It was evident to me that the social condition that each exchange student, for example, life in their countries, reflects in various aspects of their behavior, worldview and abilities. However, opportunities such as this, offered by Erasmus, strengthen our relationships and broaden our visions.

It is the ability to find beauty in diversity and ensure greater acceptance and legitimation of one's own reality and the reality of the other. I follow as a Brazilian, woman, theologian and Christian, seeking understanding of the world and striving for our diversity to find refuge in unity and communion.